I started running again. I discovered that I had taken off for far too long and I missed it. There’s nothing a good, quick mile can’t help. Lately, I’ve been putting my Christian music playlist on shuffle before I start and let God pick the songs. For some reason, all this week Bring the Rain was part of that list. I kept thinking, “God, this isn’t very uplifting or a good pace song. What gives?”. And then last night it hit me. It’s November. The start of the season.

The Holidays of Anxiety are among us.

Last year, I wrote about A Joyless Holiday. It was written after the fact. Post holiday season. This year, let’s tackle this head on. We know it’s coming and unfortunately, I know too many people who will be in pain this holiday season, including myself.

I know people who are…

  • dealing with sick family members,
  • preparing to lay loved ones to rest.
  • making it a year of someone gone. Someone they didn’t get to properly say goodbye to.
  • marking a year since the diagnosis of childhood cancer.
  • marking the first holidays without their baby, taken too soon.
  • celebrating the holidays through infertility – again.
  • saddened by their teenage and young adult children who shut them out.
  • celebrating the season where their child’s abuser is finally behind bars.
  • checking off over a decade or more of the loss of a loved one.

This is all just in my little corner of the world. We all have these corners of the world. The weight of our anxiety is so much to bear and we all know the world’s anxiety level is through the roof. How could we possibly go into this holiday season with anything but anxiety dripping from our brows?But when I started this post today, I received a text from friend covering our family in prayers but also with the gentle reminder to find 100 reasons to be grateful this season. To allow mourning, but to remember there is so much good surrounding us. (I’m not even joking, this text came in mid-writing. God’s timing is perfect!) To top it off, my verse of the day was Psalms 27:13 “I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.”

Goodness. From the Lord. In the land of the living.

That means here on earth, today. While we can’t even imagine the beautiful glory waiting for us in eternity. God’s goodness is all around us now. Do we believe it? It’s one thing to say you believe but it’s another to actually feel it in your heart. Have we received it? It’s time for us to stop focusing on the anxiety (and frankly, allowing Satan to steal our joy) and boldly step into the goodness of today. Do we slow down enough to notice it and appreciate it? We are all moving through this life at breakneck speed. At what point do we say enough is enough? When do we start intentionally pausing, letting go, and giving God the ROOM he needs to do the WORK and HEALING He promised?

I know this holiday season is going to be hard. I didn’t take that sign of Bring the Rain lightly. Looking up to God and saying, “I get it. It’s coming. It’s here.” I shed a tear and felt that pang of grief in my heart. And today when I gave God my running playlist, He played the upbeat new songs I had just downloaded. There is goodness all around us. Allow the mourning but step into the joy. Slowly, intentionally, every single day.

This holiday season, I want you to start praying for a stronger mind. Sign up below to get your free gift. My treat to you as you prepare to step into the Lord’s goodness.